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T20 World Cup – CSA directs men’s team to collectively take a knee, notes Quinton de Kock’s decision to sit out game




Says it is “imperative for the team to be seen taking a united and consistent stand against racism, especially given South Africa’s history”

CSA has noted the personal decision by Quinton de Kock to not take the knee ahead of Tuesday’s game against West Indies*. All players had been required, in line with a directive of the CSA board on Monday, to take the knee in a united and consistent stance against racism. And de Kock, who had chosen not to take a knee – or raise a fist or stand in attention, the other expressions of support for the BLM movement – in the past, opted against taking part in the game in Dubai altogether in a late decision.

The board’s view was that while diversity could, and should, find expression in many facets of daily lives, this did not apply when it came to taking a stand against racism. In an update after the South Africa vs West Indies game started, the board said it would await a further report from team management before deciding on the next steps. All players are expected to follow this directive for the remaining games of the World Cup.

On Monday, the CSA board said it recognised concerns that “the different postures taken by team members in support of the BLM initiative created an unintended perception of disparity or lack of support for the initiative”, and feel it is “imperative for the team to be seen taking a united and consistent stand against racism, especially given South Africa’s history”.

Since the BLM movement re-emerged last year, South Africa have adopted varied stances towards supporting the anti-racism movement, but the national team has not taken a knee together. The closest South Africa came to that was when all the players, support staff and administrators involved in the 3TC event last July, including director of cricket Graeme Smith, took a knee before play. Thereafter, all South Africa’s players raised a fist before the Boxing Day Test against Sri Lanka last December, before the discussion re-emerged on their tour to the West Indies this winter.

It was agreed that team members would make their own decision about whether to take a knee, raise a fist or stand to attention during that series. Notably, all the players of colour and some white players and members of staff, including coach Mark Boucher, Rassie van der Dussen and Kyle Verreynne, took a knee while other white players raised a fist and the rest stood to attention.

CSA’s board has steered away from directing the team until this point, but changed their mind after South Africa’s opening T20 World Cup match against Australia, where Australia took a knee but South Africa maintained their three options. England, West Indies, India and Scotland have also taken a knee so far, while Pakistan held their hands to their hearts. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have not made any gestures yet but Bangladesh have previously taken a knee.

“A commitment to overcoming racism is the glue that should unite, bind and strengthen us. Race should not be manipulated to amplify our weaknesses. Diversity can and should find expression in many facets of our daily lives, but not when it comes to taking a stand against racism”

CSA board chair Lawson Naidoo

“Concerns were raised that the different postures taken by team members in support of the BLM initiative created an unintended perception of disparity or lack of support for the initiative,” a CSA statement read. “After considering all relevant issues, including the position of the players, the Board felt that it was imperative for the team to be seen taking a united and consistent stand against racism, especially given SA’s history. Several other teams at the World Cup have adopted a consistent stance against the issue, and the Board felt it is time for all SA players to do the same.”

The CSA board directive comes at the same time as the Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) hearings are being conducted, aimed at investigating the extent of racial discrimination in South African cricket. Several former players have made allegations of exclusion and told stories of being othered including Ashwell Prince, Paul Adams, Omar Henry, Roger Telemachus and Loots Bosman. The hearings are in their second phase and are listening to responses from those who have been incriminated by first phase testimony. Among them was former team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee, who criticised the national team for not taking a united stance in making a gesture in support of antiracism.

CSA will appear at the hearings on Thursday, in its first public appearance since the start of the proceedings. It has resolved not to comment on any SJN matters until after the hearings but appears to have responded to one of the issues raised, which is about the national team taking a knee.

“A commitment to overcoming racism is the glue that should unite, bind and strengthen us. Race should not be manipulated to amplify our weaknesses. Diversity can and should find expression in many facets of our daily lives, but not when it comes to taking a stand against racism,” CSA board chair Lawson Naidoo said.

The hearings will conclude on Friday and the ombudsman Dumisa Ntsebeza will issue a report to CSA by November 30.

* The story was updated following the CSA statement on Quinton de Kock,

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent

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WBBL round-up – Alana King reigns supreme as Sydney Sixers finish bottom for first time




Perth Scorchers will host the WBBL final at Optus Stadium next Saturday

Melbourne Stars 1 for 181 (Villani 100*, Lanning 52) beat Adelaide Strikers 3 for 175 (Mack 89*, Penna 56*) by nine wickets

A brilliant century from Elyse Villani, brought up with the match-winning six, enable Melbourne Stars to finish their season on a high note with an impressive run-chase against finals-bound Adelaide Strikers.
Villani and Meg Lanning, with her second fifty of a relatively lean season, added 119 for the first wicket but Stars still needed more than 12 an over in the closing stages. However, Villani and Annabel Sutherland regularly found the boundary in a stand of 62 off 29 balls. Villani reached 94 with the boundary that leveled the scores then just managed to clear the long-off rope to bring up her maiden WBBL hundred.
Katie Mack, who has enjoyed a stunning run of form in the latter half of the tournament, and Madeline Penna were the other batting stars of a high-scoring encounter. They added an unbroken 118 in 12 overs for the fourth wicket after Strikes had slipped to 3 for 57 following two wickets in four balls for Sutherland. They scored 77 from the final six overs with Penna reaching a 31-ball fifty with a six.

During the run chase Jemma Barsby showed off her ambidextrous skills by switching between right-arm offspin and left-arm finger spin when bowling to Villani and Lanning.

Perth Scorchers 2 for 131 (Piparo 50*) beat Sydney Sixers 4 for 128 (Perry 39*, King 3-18) by eight wickets

Sydney Sixers took the wooden spoon for the first in the WBBL as Perth Scorchers rubberstamped their place in the grand final, which will be hosted at Optus Stadium on November 27, with a convincing victory.

In a good sign for their title dip next week, Scorchers’ middle-order again got the job done in the run chase as Chloe Piparo, with her maiden WBBL fifty off 39 balls, and Heather Graham added 74 for the third wicket.
Legspinner Alana King had been the star with the ball, knocking back a promising start from Sixers by removing Alyssa Healy and Shafali Verma with her first three deliveries. She then returned in the 15th over to claim Nicole Bolton and after two overs had 3 for 5. Angela Reakes gave the innings a bit of a late kick but the total never threatened to be enough.

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Tim Paine quits as Australia Test captain




Another Australia men’s captain has lost his job in dramatic circumstances

Late last week, the Australia men’s team lurched into another crisis with the resignation of Tim Paine as captain following the emergence of explicit messages he sent to a female colleague in 2017. Pat Cummins is in line to replace him although Paine wants to continue as a player.

November 23

News – Cricket Tasmania furious at Cricket Australia’s treatment of Tim Paine
Video – Cummins’ team-mates endorse his captaincy credentials

November 22

News – Tim Paine makes playing comeback after resignation drama

November 21

News – Former Cricket Australia chair hits out handling of Tim Paine scandal
News -Tim Paine knew explicit messages could emerge at any time

November 20

Comment – No wishing away the issues as England and Australia brace for Scandal Ashes
News – Not removing Paine in 2018 ‘clearly sent the wrong message’, says CA board chairman
Analysis – Cummins faces rocky transition into Australia captaincy

November 19

News – Tim Paine quits as Australia Test captain after explicit messages to female co-worker emerge
News – Tim Paine’s full resignation statement
Video – ‘I’m deeply sorry that my past behaviour has impacted our game on the eve of the Ashes’
Comment – Paine scandal fallout: CA left with reputational and cricketing questions to answer

Timeline – The twists and turns of Tim Paine’s international career

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Tim Paine knew explicit messages could emerge at any time




In a newspaper interview on Sunday, Paine spoke about the controversy that has ended his Test captaincy

Tim Paine has admitted he believed the texting scandal that has cost him the Australian Test captaincy was a ticking time bomb that was always going to become public at some point.

The ramifications of Paine’s resignation from the captaincy are continuing to flow in Australian cricket in the Ashes lead up, with the search for a new captain to include background checks for possible integrity issues.

Paine was cleared of any misconduct in a 2018 integrity unit investigation, after he sent lewd messages and a graphic image to a Cricket Tasmania colleague.

Cricket Australia chairman Richard Freudenstein and CEO Nick Hockley on Saturday admitted they would have axed Paine as captain had they been in charge at the time. But they defended the inaction since, claiming they’d felt no need to delve deeper into the investigation after being made aware of it when they joined the organisation in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

However, Paine has conceded he always felt the issue could come to the fore, after previously being aware of other attempts for the story to be revealed publicly.

“I thought the issue was dealt with, but it always popped up around a big series, or at the start of the cricket season,” Paine said in a Herald Sun interview beside his wife Bonnie. “Over the last three years, there have been numerous times where media agencies have put to us that they had evidence, yet they never chose to write it.

“But I knew it was going to come out at some point, as much as I didn’t want it to.”

Paine remains adamant that the 2017 messages between he and the colleague were fully consensual, and he only became aware there was an issue when a complaint was lodged six months later.

By that point he had been appointed Test captain, with the integrity unit interviews taking place before the white-ball tour to England in mid-2018. He did not believe the existence of the messages were a reason not to accept the captaincy long-term.

“Because it was a consensual exchange of messages months beforehand, I didn’t think it was anything to consider,” he said. “I never thought for a moment that it would become an issue. I was just excited and honoured to be asked.”

He is also certain he can continue as a player in Australia’s Test team, having indicated the home Ashes summer had been his target for potential retirement.

“I see that as the ultimate high, to be able to finish your Test career after winning an Ashes series in Australia,” Paine said. “That’s the dream. That’s what I want to do.”

Asked if he can play in an Ashes series, which would come with huge scrutiny even without a controversy hanging over him, Paine said: “Yep, I’m sure I can.”

He revealed that head coach had initially tried to persuaded him to continue and that he does not believe any of his team-mates knew about the messages.

“JL [Justin Langer] told me he’s devastated,” Paine said. “He was pretty firm that he wanted me to continue as captain, and again, once I explained to him the reasons that I thought resigning was the best thing to do, he was with me all the way.”

Regardless, Paine’s admissions bring into question why new CA management did not look further into the 2018 investigation if there had always been fears the story would resurface.

In stating his board would have acted differently, Freudenstein claimed on Saturday the Australian captain should be held to the highest account for his actions. However, he defended his organisation’s handover process, given the CEO, seven directors and several other key executives have changed since the 2018 investigation.

“Once you have a private matter that has been subject to a full integrity unit investigation, it wouldn’t be normal for that to be part of the handover,” Freudenstein said.

“All I can say is the whole current Australian cricket board, including those members that were on the board in 2018, are very clear that if the same circumstances arose today, we would make a different decision.”

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